Sheffield United: Why The Blades took an extra-cautious approach to John Egan's recovery
Chris Wilder has shed further light on why John Egan has been declared fit for Sheffield United’s game at Wolverhampton Wanderers, explaining the centre-half passed a concussion protocol before resuming full-training earlier this week.
The Republic of Ireland international suffered a clash of heads during his country’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark earlier this month and was subsequently ruled-out of the 3-3 draw with Manchester United.
But after undergoing an assessment, Egan is poised to return to action at Molineux on Sunday, alongside centre-forward Lys Mousset who has been receiving treatment for a hamstring complaint.
“He (Egan) took a bang to the head and there is a protocol,” Wilder said. “He did have a tight calf but he also took a bang to the head.”
Guidelines state that players can return to action six days after being diagnosed with a concussion, although there have been calls for more stringent legislation.
FIFpro, the world players’ union, urged governing bodies to permit temporary substitutions in order for doctors and medical professionals to perform more rigorous ‘in-game’ tests.
With Egan suffering a number of concussions at his former club Brentford, it is likely United erred on the side of caution before giving him the green light to feature at Wolves.
“You have to go through a clearing period for him to be made available and he missed it by a couple of days,” Wilder, the United manager, noted.
Although Wilder suggested Egan’s involvement could be threatened by Phil Jagielka’s performance against the visitors from Old Trafford - “I thought he was immense” - United’s defensive record when the 27-year-old starts means he is almost certain to return. Before conceding three against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, United’s rearguard had kept three clean sheets in five outings. Goalkeeper Dean Henderson, on-loan from Manchester United, is also poised to start in the Black Country, after being ruled ineligible for selection against his parent club five days ago.
Having seen his options at the back bolstered, Wilder breathed a sigh of relief when a scan revealed the injury Mousset sustained during the second-half of United’s meeting with their namesakes from the North-West was not as serious as first feared. The striker has been one of Wilder’s stand-out performers so far this term, scoring four goals and claiming a number of assists as United finished round 13 of the competition in sixth place. Their latest opponents are a point ahead in fifth.
“A full hit, a full group, goes down to Wolves,” Wilder said. “Lys has recovered. When he went down we all feared the worst. We’d been preparing to make the change because we thought his tank was nearing empty. Lys has been outstanding. We were just preparing to make the change and then he pulled up.”